ou know how I always say that the origin of such and such cake is unknown, a mystery, a controversy? Well, not this time! The whole story about the Sacher cake is well documented and historically confirmed, so here it is. Sachertorte as it is it’s original name, is a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian named Franz Sacher in 1832, for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria. It is one of the most famous Viennese culinary specialties. Now, this is one beautiful cake, no doubt about that, but what is more interesting is a legal battle that took place over it, and lasted for many years! It’s like reading a good thriller actually! So,in 1832, Austrian Prince Wenzel von Metternich charged his personal chef with creating a special dessert for several important guests. As the luck would have it, the head chef got sick, so this important task fell onto weak shoulders of his sixteen year old apprentice, by the name of Franz Sacher! You can see the plot emerging, right?
Luckily, everything went OK, the guests were happy, and the young apprentice finished his training, and later opened a specialty delicatessen and wine shop in Vienna. Boring, I know! Where is the thriller, you’ll ask? Well, chef Sacher had a son, named Eduard, which carried on his father’s culinary legacy, completing his own training in Vienna at Demel bakery, during which time he perfected his father’s recipe and developed the torte into its current form. But, and this is one important but, in 1876, chef Eduard Sacher opened the Hotel Sacher! And here comes the action part!
In the early decades of the 20th century, a legal battle over the use of the label “The Original Sacher Torte” developed between the Hotel Sacher and the Demel bakery. You see, chef Eduard Sacher completed his recipe for Sacher Torte while working at Demel, but, as an owner of the Hotel Sacher, he served this cake there. When he died, hotel went bankrupt in 1934, and his son, Eduard junior, went to work at the Demel bakery, bringing his father’s cake with him, so the Demel started selling the “Sacher Torte”. The battle started in 1938, when the new owners of the Hotel Sacher also began to sell Sacher Tortes under the trademarked name “The Original Sacher Torte”. This soap opera was interrupted by a little thing called “the second world war”, but it was continued in 1954, when the hotel owners sued Demel, claiming that they bought the trademark rights to the name “Original Sacher Torte” when they bought the hotel itself!
Over the next seven years, both parties waged an intense legal war over several issues, including the change of the name, the second layer of jam in the middle of the cake, and the substitution of margarine for butter in the baking of the cake. Imagine! So finally, in 1963, they settled out of court and since then, Hotel Sacher has the rights to the phrase “The Original Sachertorte”, and Demel bakery makes and sells their own Sacher cake decorated with triangular seal that reads “Eduard-Sacher-Torte”! A genuine pastry telenovela, right? Now, since I don’t want to get sued for making the original Sacher cake, I’ll show you how to make my version of this classic. I hope you’ll like it!
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!